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5 fastest goals in the UEFA Champions League

Alessandro Del Piero of Juventus celebrates scoring ...
Alessandro Del Piero of Juventus celebrates scoring ...

Even though football is played over two halves for a total of 90 minutes, every moment in the game counts, because it only takes one to score a goal. Games are lost and won in the dying seconds, with a moment's indecision. And right from the referee's whistle, both teams try their hardest to outwit and outperform each other throughout the game and find the back of the net.

While last moment goals can be ecstatic for the goal scoring side, early goals lay down a marker and help the team build a platform to carry the game forward. It helps managers sharpen their tactics and enables the team to dictate the terms of the game. However, imagine scoring even before your opponent has settled in the game. Not even a minute has passed and already you are a goal up. Well, it has happened quite a few times in world football, in the World Cup, in the top leagues in Europe and all over the world.

In the Champions League too, there have been some lighting fast goals ever since the introduction of the tournament in 1992. Many goals have been scored within the first minute of the game and today we take a look at the 5 fastest among them. All of these 5 have been scored within the first 30 seconds of the game, which makes each of these equally fascinating. Read on to find out the 5 fastest goals in the UEFA Champions League.


#5 Clarence Seedorf (AC Milan, 21.06 Seconds)

Clarence Seedorf scored one of the fastest goals of the UEFA Champions League
Clarence Seedorf scored one of the fastest goals of the UEFA Champions League

Schalke 04 welcomed AC Milan to the Veltins Arena on 28th September 2005 as the two teams fought it out in the group stages of the UEFA Champions League. The teams were facing each other for the first time ever and both teams had experienced contrasting fortunes on Matchday 1. While the Serie A side had won 3-1 against Fenerbahce, the Bundesliga side had succumbed to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of PSV Eindhoven.

When Claus Bo Larsen, the match referee from Denmark, blew his whistle to start the game, little did he know that he would have to blow it again soon. Seedorf received the ball from Kaka a few yards away from the Penalty area and unleashed venomous long ranger from his right foot that Schalke Goalie Rost could do nothing about. It was just 21 seconds in the clock, the official timing of the goal was 21.05 seconds. Schalke responded by getting the equalizer in the 3rd minute and the game finally ended 2-2, with Shevchenko and Altintop scoring the other goals.

Watch the highlights above

Seedorf's goal was the third fastest goal in the Champions League at that time, however, it currently stands at the fifth fastest goal in the tournament so far.

#4 Alessandro Del Piero (Juventus, 20.12 Seconds)

Alessandro Del Piero celebrates scoring a goal
Alessandro Del Piero celebrates scoring a goal

In the 1997/98 season of the UEFA Champions League, Manchester United and Juventus were drawn in Group B, along with Feyenoord and Kosice. On Matchday 2, Manchester United welcomed Juventus to Old Trafford. Both teams were coming off victories on Matchday 1, Juventus winning 5-1 over Feyenoord at home and United securing a 3-0 away win over Kosice.

When United and Juventus faced each other on 1st October 1997, they were about to play out an extremely entertaining game and it all started in the very first minute. Del Piero followed a long ball into the penalty box and with an exquisite piece of skill, put the onrushing Danish goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel out of contention and calmly slotted the ball home. It sent Old Trafford into a complete silence. However, United found the equalizer though Teddy Sheringham in the 37th minute. In the second half, Paul Scholes gave United the lead in the 69th minute, before Ryan Giggs took the game away from Juventus in the 89th minute. Juventus got one back through Zidane in the 90th minute, but it was all a little too late, as United won the game 3-2.

Watch the highlights of the game here:

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The official time of the Del Piero goal was 20.12 seconds and it is the 4th fastest goal in the UEFA Champions League.

#3 Gilberto Silva (Arsenal, 20.07 Seconds)

Gilberto Silva has the third fastest goal in the UEFA Champions League
Gilberto Silva has the third fastest goal in the UEFA Champions League

The Brazilian was a part of the Arsenal team that had travelled to Eindhoven to face PSV in the Group Stages of the UEFA Champions League in the 2002/03 season. The teams were a part of Group A, along with Dortmund and Auxerre and while Arsenal had won the first game 2-0 at home against Dortmund, PSV could only earn a 0-0 draw away at Auxerre.

On 25th September 2002, on Matchday 2, Arsenal faced PSV at the Philips Stadium and the Gunner found the back of the net within the first minute. Gilberto Silva started the move by breaking the PSV attacking and immediately found Ljungberg. The Swede, in turn, wasted little time to find Henry. The French Striker beat Andre Ooijer and spotted Gilberto Silva's run at the far post. Henry sent in a cross which the Brazilian finished in style. The official time of the goal was 20.07 seconds, which is the third fastest goal in the UEFA Champions League.

Watch the highlights of the game here:

Arsenal went on to score 3 more, through Ljungberg and a late Henry brace, ending the game 4-0.

#2 Jonas (Valencia, 10.96 Seconds)

Valencia CF v Bayer 04 Leverkusen - UEFA Champions League
Valencia CF v Bayer 04 Leverkusen - UEFA Champions League

In the 2011/12 season of the UEFA Champions League, Valencia and Bayern Leverkusen were drawn in Group E, along with Premier League side Chelsea and Belgian side Genk. Valencia lost the away game against Bayern Leverkusen 2-1, so when the Spanish side welcomed the Bundesliga team to the Mestalla Stadium on 1st November 2011, Valencia had revenge on their minds. And as the Swedish referee Jonas Eriksson blew the whistle to start the game, the La Liga side wasted little time, literally.

Leverkusen started the game by playing the ball back from their midfield to the defence ultimately to goalkeeper Leno, who played a horrible pass straight to Jonas, lurking just outside the penalty area. The Valencia striker took a touch of the ball and finished well from outside the area.

Watch the goal here:

Leverkusen got a goal back through Kießling, but the Spanish side took the lead again and extended it in the second half, ultimately winning the game 3-1. Jonas's goal stood at 10.96 seconds and it is the second fastest goal scored in the UEFA Champions League.

#1 Roy Makaay (Bayern Munich, 10.12 seconds)

Roy Makaay has scored the fastest goal in the UEFA Champions League
Roy Makaay has scored the fastest goal in the UEFA Champions League

When Bayern Munich welcomed Real Madrid to the Allianz Arena on 7th March 2007 for the second leg of the round of 16, the Bundesliga Giants were trailing 3-2, from their defeat at the Bernabeu. Bayern knew that they had to score goals and they had to score goals fast, but perhaps even Real Madrid were not prepared for what happened on the field that night.

It all started just after Slovakian Referee Ľuboš Micheľ started the game. Fernando Gago of Real Madrid received the ball and passed it to left back Roberto Carlo, who failed to control the pass. Bayern Munich's Hasan Salihamidzic stole the ball and immediately passed the ball to Roy Makaay, who had made the run to the penalty box. The Dutch Footballer scored the first time and gave the German giants a much-needed lift.

Watch the fastest goal in UEFA Champions League here:

Bayern Munich increased the lead in the second half and even though Real Madrid got a goal back, Bayern won the game and the tie. Roy Makaay's goal took just 10.12 seconds and it is the fastest goal in the history of the UEFA Champions League, a record that still stands 11 years on.


Which of these 5 is your favourite? Let us know in the comments.

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Edited by Vikshith R
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